Google's Stock-Split Plan Would Replace Stewardship with Dictatorship

Simon C. Y. Wong

Northwestern University School of Law; London School of Economics

April 27, 2012

Harvard Business Review Online, April 2012

Google recently announced that it would seek to cement its founders' control through the issuance of non-voting stock. In this commentary, I argue that while I am supportive of strong stewardship by Google's founders, its proposal would excessively entrench control and should therefore be rejected.

This article employs a comparative perspective, drawing on the trend in developed and emerging markets to eliminate or reduce the severity of multiple share classes. In addition, I distinguish Google's proposal from the discussions in the UK on granting long-term shareholders enhanced voting rights.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 2

Keywords: Corporate governance, non-voting stock, multiple-share classes, entrenchment

JEL Classification: G32, G34

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Date posted: April 22, 2012 ; Last revised: May 7, 2012

Suggested Citation

Wong, Simon C. Y., Google's Stock-Split Plan Would Replace Stewardship with Dictatorship (April 27, 2012). Harvard Business Review Online, April 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2043499

Contact Information

Simon C. Y. Wong (Contact Author)
Northwestern University School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
HOME PAGE: http://twitter.com/SimonCYWong
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/staff/simon-wong.htm
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